Until you were gone

By

James95

Hi guys, this is my first Lion king story. It focuses on Kovu's brother Nuka and his adventures with my OC Mlinzi (Swahili for guardian). I only own Mlinzi and his family apart from the youngest two. For this chapter I recommend listening to Wish you were here by Avril Lavigne since it's seems to be very soothing at first but then it becomes depressing afterwards after this lion receives painful news.

Chapter 1: Everything and nothing had changed

Dawn in the pride lands was always a wonderful sight with the antelope rising to greet the orange orb as it rose from the horizon and the birds singing its praise as it embraced the sky. Recently the rising appeared to be even more beautiful ever since the fire and the reuniting of the outsiders and the Pride Landers. However, there was one who was alien to these events and at dawn today he'd come back.

Mlinzi had been on a mission for his King; to locate and memorise the migration of their herds and of those outside the borders of Pride rock in case they went into the hunting grounds. The still young lion crouched beside a nearby watering hole for a drink and to wash the blood away from his last meal. He had to give the lionesses credit for it was pretty hard catching a Wildebeest.

Mlinzi was both like and unlike the stereotype of a Pride land member. His fur was short and honey gold with the tuft of his tail and his mane both a very dark brown. He was considerably built as if he was better suited for brawls and war than researching and calculating but he had a few odd quirks. One of his upper fangs on his right hand side was longer than the rest concealed in his muzzle and so would usually be seen emerging from the corner of his lips but the thing that made him stand out were his eyes. One was a deep green, the other was as blue as the sky above him, which led to one too many unpleasant experiences way back when...

He noticed that the ground was still covered in the ashes of the fire. He knew who started it but right now all he wanted to do was to see them, then he heard something that confused him; Pure silence. He only had to take a few seconds to recognise where he was near, the pride of the outsiders. The same place that held the twisted Zira, her near mindless drone and golden boy Kovu, the ferocious Vitani and his friend, the envious Nuka. Normally he'd expect to hear the scraggly lion's yelps as his mother punished him for barely laying a single claw to his baby stepbrother. But there was nothing. He didn't dare look because although he had a few friends there he was still loyal to Simba and so he went on.

It was a short while when he noticed something very odd. The log dam which took up the once dusty canyon below him was gone save for a few discarded rotten pieces of Acacia timber with the canyon walls glistening with moisture. That was when he realized something as the tall grass rustled to something that wasn't the wind; He wasn't alone. That's when the dusty blonde lioness pounced.

The two wrestled for a while both growling at each other but it seemed this lioness was holding back a little. The way she was fighting should have been more lethal but it seemed as if she was toying with him, then he met her eyes and recognized the tuft on her head and her feral blue eyes.

"Vitani?" Mlinzi asked as he pulled away, "what was that for"?

"Well my big brother that was for not watching your back" the lioness replied as her eyes forgot to follow her smirk, "it's been a long time Mlinzi"

"Yes it has, good to see you" he replied as he ruffled the tuft on her head with a large paw, "where is everybody"?

"You don't know"?

"Well I have been away ever since the night after that fire so what am I supposed to know about?" he asked.

"Oh, well there was a battle between us and Simba's pride and most of the lionesses including myself went to join Simba. Unfortunately mother was so wrapped around in hatred that not even Kovu could stop her. She fell from around here and was carried off by the river when the dam collapsed"

"I'm so sorry" Mlinzi said as his ears were pressed flat against his skull, "but I bet you like it at Pride rock. I can imagine Kovu was a little against it"

"Actually he wasn't. He decided not to follow Zira's wishes and got married to Kiara just yesterday. You would've loved it"

"I missed my own brother's wedding? I feel so ashamed" Mlinzi sighed before laughing, "But I bet Nuka loves being back there. I can just picture him going up to the top of Pride rock and shouting "I'm king of the world" like when we were cubs and- what's wrong? Are you crying"?

"Mlinzi, Nuka, h-he-he's dead" Vitani choked out as the tears flowed down her muzzle. And then it was as if the older lion was hit by a stampede of rhinos. This couldn't be right, she had to be joking. Nuka was fine the night he left although his fur was a little burnt. He was still a young lion just thirty moons older than he himself was. Not Nuka.

"It's true" she said in reply to the look of disbelief on his face, "the night after you left the outsiders ambushed Kovu and Simba. They ran different ways and so Nuka decided to chase Simba up the dam but he slipped and was trapped by falling logs. I hoped and hoped he was still alive but after the dam broke the day after I knew if mother couldn't survive there was no possible way he could...I'm so sorry"

"I wasn't there..." Mlinzi whimpered as he struggled to keep composure; everything had changed but it had all stayed the same. Except he knew that Nuka would never be there to welcome him back. Never to meet him at the umbrella tree in secret.

Nuka was gone.

"Let's get you home" Vitani sighed as she wiped away the tears with her paw and led the way back home. Mlinzi moved near soullessly as he thought about Nuka. Was it quick or slow? Did he say anything about Mlinzi? How could he have failed him and left him to die? And now he's never coming back.

That was when he saw Pride rock; his home. It was up in the distance but for some reason he felt smaller than the most pathetic cub looking at it now. He had a job there; he had started to look after the young prince after the cub's sister Kiara began to prepare for hunts with the rest of the lionesses. Kopa was a handful at times, wild, reckless, smiling, all the things he wasn't when he was that age, when he first met Nuka back when Scar ruled the land...

Everything had changed but it had all stayed the same.

Okay, I bet you guys are a tad confused on what's going on and who Mlinzi is but it'll all be explained in good time. Just wait, read and review folks.